Dr. Julie DeRoche, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Georgetown Public Schools
Beth Miller, Executive Director, Creative Education Foundation
As we have all seen, the marketplace and workplace is changing at breakneck speed. We are not now preparing our students for this fast-changing workplace. Indeed, it isn’t just that we need to prepare our children for a changing marketplace; we have to train them to be the inventors of it. According to Forbes, in the coming years, young people can expect to change jobs 15-20 times and have as many as 7 careers. The US Department of Labor predicts that 65% of students will become adults holding jobs that don’t even exist yet, and that those jobs will be in Big Data, Nano science, 3-D printing, and advanced robotics.
Creative Problem Solving (CPS) training provides learners at all levels with the skill set, tool set, and mindset to regularly and effectively engage in deliberate creativity. CPS creates nimble thinkers who are able to learn from incremental failures without despairing, while simultaneously increasing their tolerance and comfort with ambiguity. Students trained in Creative Problem Solving will create the intellectually fluent and innovative workplace that we need to negotiate and succeed in the 21st Century world. As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build the youth for our future.”
We, as students and educators, have been trained to align, process, and develop our strengths in the search for the “right career.” It is a challenge to comprehend the fact that as adults, our students will help to invent the future marketplace, and in turn, their own careers. One might consider this the dawn of a new era. In knowing and understanding that our students’ strengths and future success comes from within, the Creative Education Foundation and the Georgetown Public Schools have developed a partnership to promote the creative thinking process with both staff and students. This two year partnership allows for deeper development of our teachers’ and students’ capacity for becoming more practiced in the art of creative problem solving in an effort to improve our students’ future success.
Training staff and students in creativity is simple, and yet complex. It requires educators to open their minds to unanswered questions, and to delve into the unknown. Creativity and innovation requires reformatted lesson plans, updating and changing units, incorporating new technologies, all with an open mind to inspiration. If we were to stop and think about it, these activities define the process of creativity itself. Teaching is an art form, and for those brave souls who have been called to profession of teaching, the very best are those who are inventive, inspiring, innovative, and original. And, yes, these teachers are some of the very best creative problems solvers!